Watch Out…and In
As I drove through town today (no Sparing the Air for me, I guess), I quickly discovered some Unexpected Health…people watching. Let me start off by clarifying that I am not talking about making voyeurism your new hobby. But I do find that catching glimpses of others can elicit quite a sense of health and wellbeing. Here’s what unfolded: while stopped at a red light, I looked to my right and noticed three friends in their mid 20s. I must have looked over right as one of them said the punchline of a funny joke, did something terribly amusing, or had just witnessed a comical event. I have no idea what the topic was and it didn’t matter. What I caught was one of the three laughing the most wholehearted laugh I have seen in a while. You’ve seen these types of laughs before: these are the ones that cause a chain reaction of events to occur–head tilts back, mouth opens wide, eyes squint because their face cannot possibly share both fully opened eyes AND a clown-sized smile. These are the laughs that cause an almost instant grin on the face of any onlooker, and I was no exception. I couldn’t help but smile and wonder, “What just gave them so much joy?” I wanted to roll down my window and invite myself into the conversation. But in a way, I did become part of their world. I smiled. At watching them. It is so easy to notice the “unattractiveness” in people: their hot tempers; their questionable fashion sense; their size, shape, hair color, nail color…the list goes on and on. I propose that we look for the obvious qualities that create contagious positive reactions in us. Look for the people who help out an elderly person; watch for the person who picks up trash that doesn’t belong to them; notice those who let a driver IN instead of gawking at the quick-tempered person who cuts people off; and of course, pay attention to those who outwardly show their joyful emotions. I bet if you do, you will notice that a smile might just appear on your face. And who knows…maybe at that same moment, someone will be noticing you. Let the chain reaction of smiles begin. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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